Cibiem is a medical device company focusing on a minimally invasive, catheter-based approach for Carotid Body Modulation (CBM). Currently in its early stages, the company is assessing CBM’s role in potentially treating hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, and/or renal failure. The company was co-founded by Mark Gelfand and Howard R. Levin, M.D., who were behind Ardian, a firm developing renal denervation technology to treat hypertension, which was acquired by Medtronic in 2010. Dr. Levin and Mr. Gelfand recently participated in an interview with Medgadget, answering questions about Cibiem and the potential role of Carotid Body Modulation for well known chronic diseases.
Ronney Shantouf, Medgadget: What is carotid body modulation (CBM) and can you tell us a little about Cibiem’s product?
Mark Gelfand and Howard Levin, Cibiem: Cibiem’s proprietary, minimally invasive, catheter-based approach is focused on Carotid Body Modulation (CBM) for the treatment of sympathetic nervous system-mediated diseases such as hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and renal failure. Our approach is innovative, proprietary and, importantly, minimally invasive. It focuses on modulation of the carotid body – a key chemosensor located at the fork of the carotid artery that helps regulate respiratory activity. This Carotid Body Modulation (CBM) is a breakthrough innovation based on extensive studies and a deep understanding of the interdependence of the body’s various systems. Cibiem believes this approach could mean exciting new treatment possibilities for a broad range of diseases.
Medgadget: Of the different medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, hypertension, renal failure, or diabetes – where do you feel carotid body modulation will have the greatest impact and why?
One of the key differentiators of our proprietary CBM technology and approach is that it has the potential to drive significant impact across a broad range of sympathetic nervous system-mediated diseases such as hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and renal failure.
Medgadget: What can you tell us about the current first-in-man clinical trials going on with the CBM device?
Cibiem already is testing its unique CBM physiological approach in first-in-man clinical trials.The first-in-man trials are being conducted in Wroclaw, Poland. The PI is Piotr Ponikowski, M.D., Ph.D., who is formerly the president of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology. The treatment is being evaluated for heart failure.
Medgadget: How did the idea of CBM come about? What inspired the product development?
The idea of modulating the carotid body to have an effect on sympathetic nervous system-mediated diseases is not a new one – it had been surgically done in the 1940s and lasted through the 1990s in some places. However, the idea of inventing a minimally-invasive, catheter-based medical device to modulate the carotid body is truly novel and could fundamentally change the way we treat diseases like heart failure, hypertension, diabetes and renal failure – all conditions that are not optimally addressed or managed by the current drug therapies or standard of care.
Medgadget: How long have you been working on Cibiem’s CBM product?
Cibiem raised its Series A financing in May 2012 and we started our first-in-man trials in August.
Medgadget: What makes Coridea unique over other incubator and consulting firms?
Coridea is designed to minimize risk and create value quickly and efficiently. Our team is comprised of leaders and innovators in the medical device arena with a proven track record in converting innovative technology into high impact solutions for patients and high value returns for investors (for example, the Ardian model). We view medical device design through the lens of translational healthcare, delivering innovative, unexpected solutions to cardio, pulmonary and renal patients who have failed existing drug treatments.
Medgadget: Out of all of Coridea’s projects, which, to you, stands out the most and why?
The way Coridea really stands apart is our ability to rapidly translate novel inventions and intellectual property into clinical trials and clinical practice. All of the incubator’s companies have advanced breakthrough technology and devices, but it is important to note the success of Ardian, a company that we founded and was then acquired by Medtronic in one of the largest deals ever for a private, VC-backed company ($800 million plus $500 million in potential milestones). Our strategy is to continue to drive that level of innovation and value for Coridea companies.